Twitter Changes NPR's State-Affiliated Media Label

Twitter Changes NPR’s State-Affiliated Media Label

Elon Musk made a recent change in Twitter development again. The official Twitter account for NPR (National Public Ratio) controversially got a “State-affiliated media” label on its profile, which was discreetly changed to “government-funded media.” The original label is attached to more overtly propagandistic pages. 

NPR operates independently of the US government. Also, NPR gets only 1% of the federal money, which is important to all public media systems. NPR CEO John Lansing stated – 

“NPR stands for freedom of speech and holding the powerful accountable. It is just unacceptable for Twitter to label us this way.” He added, “A vigorous, vibrant free press is essential to the health of our democracy.”

The difference between the last and the new label is largely semantic. Also, clicking on the label lands you on a page which explains what the previous label meant. However, given the trust and reliance upon NPR, NPR officials have requested Twitter to remove the label. 

Source: Google Images

It was initially assumed that the label was applied by mistake. But Isabel Lara said – “We were not warned. It happened quite suddenly last night.”

The company’s press account auto-replied with a poop emoji, which it has been sending to all the journalists for weeks. During the White House’s daily briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre did not address Twitter’s content rules. However, she defended NPR’s journalism. 

Musk Agreed to the State-Affiliated Media Label – Says it is Accurate

Twitter’s owner and CEO have confirmed the label was applied to NPR. He responded to a tweet about the significant shift with a screenshot of Twitter’s policy defining state-affiliated media with a message – “Seems Accurate.” 

State-affiliated media labels
Source: Google Images

Twitter’s policy defines state-affiliated media labels as outlets whose editorial content is controlled by the state through financial resources, control over production and distribution, and direct or indirect political pressure. 

Also, Twitter said that NPR would no longer be included under this label. The document released said – 

“State-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the UK or NPR in the US, for example, are not defined as state-affiliated media for the purpose of the policy.”

Twitter’s former Head of Trust and Safety commented on the ongoing issue –

“Twitter’s decision to label NPR as a state-affiliated media outlet flies in the face of years of research, all evidence about NPR’s funding and governance, and Twitter’s own policies and principles.”

This is seen as another offset of Twitter with the media houses. However, everything seems vague, and it is quite impossible to say whether it is 100% accurate. But, the new label is narrow and less accurate. These are strange evolving happenings, just about everything else involving Musk’s Twitter ownership.